CONTENT INTRODUCTION 4SECTION 1 – Selecting your topic and issue/question 5SECTION 2 – Research 6SECTION 3 – The Process 7SECTION 4 – Format and Structure 8 Format 8 Structure 8 Standard Glion Assignment Front Page 8 Word count 9 Title Page 9 Executive Summary 9 Table of Contents 9 List of Tables and Figures 9 Introduction 9 Data Presentation and Analysis 10 Conclusion and Recommendations 10 References 10 Appendices 10SECTION 5 – Grading 12 Grading Criteria 12SECTION 6 – Procedure for Tutorials and Submissions 13CONCLUSION 15GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.23INTRODUCTIONThis handbook should help you to understand the Individual Business Report (IBR) course and clarifywhat is required in order to meet the requirements of the module. You should also carefully study theCourse Syllabus and Project Outline documents.The IBR is a “capstone” project, where you show that you can use the academic and practical skills youhave developed during your studies, employing research, analysis and expository techniques in apurposeful way. You will be encouraged to produce the best work you can do, that you can be proud of.Among the important qualities that should be demonstrated in the report are: Effective research. Reading around the chosen topic, using discrimination to select relevant,quality sources to provide evidence and support for your ideas. Critical thinking. Interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, and reflection are essential atthis level. Simple description or comparison is inadequate. Purpose. The report must have a clear purpose; a business issue or question to be resolved oranswered. Data presentation. Effective use of charts, graphs and tables, with adequate explanation andinterpretation. Formal writing and formatting. Creating a document to professional standards using academicand business conventions, within a prescribed structure and format.Each student will have his/her own topic and purpose for the project. The overall goal is to answer asingle business question. Simply writing about a subject is not acceptable; a business question mustbe answered, with credible results and recommendations for action.The course has only a few class-based lessons at the beginning of the first block of the semester,where the concepts and requirements are set out. Students then begin to research and build theirreport during the remainder of the semester. Three submissions to the Moodle platform are required, forwhich written feedback will be provided, before the final report is presented. Three individual tutorialswill allow the student to discuss their progress and receive more detailed feedback and adviceThis project is demanding. Expectations are high. A pass is essential before a degree can be awarded.Success will come from understanding the requirements, application and hard work. You will notsucceed if you do the minimum for each Moodle submission and leave most of the work until the end;you will succeed if you pay attention during the initial classes and plan how to do your work throughoutthe semester.Guidance and support is available. The rest is up to you. I hope you enjoy the project, and create workthat is a credit to you and to the school.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.24SECTION 1Selecting your topic and issue/question Your choice of general topic area, and of the specific issue/question you will answer, is crucial for your success.A poorly-chosen topic and question/issue could result in you struggling to find enough relevant data to support your work, or in you “drowning” in data and struggling to find clarity.Remember, you are not being assessed on your product or technical knowledge; the purpose of the IBR project is to show your capabilities in building a formal business document that uses research findings and analysis to answer a specific issue/question with credible recommendations. You will achieve a good grade through demonstrating critical thinking, selecting good quality, relevant sources to support your work, and following the format/structure guidelines.Ideally you can find a topic which interests you, and for which you can obtain good secondary data. There should be some published academic material (research papers, conference proceedings and the like) which you can use in your writing for comparison, illumination and support, in addition to industry and specific data/information from non-academic sources.Your topic must be related to a specific business, or a specific area of business and has to be related to the hospitality sector.Once a business or business area has been selected, the main issue/question should be formulated. This must allow a credible, logical answer to be provided within the report. Here are some examples of questions that could be answered through research (using secondary sources) and analysis: How can luxury hotels implement self-service technology while maintaining their reputation for high-quality, personal service? How should Swiss hotels and tourism facilities adapt to the growing numbers of Russian and Chinese tourists? How can the Intercontinental Hotel Group improve its use of social media within its CRM programme? Should Shanghai business hotels employ Western or local managers? Does LVMH risk damaging its brand value by opening so many new stores? How can 2 and 3 star city hotels compete against AirBnB?Your first submitted work is to propose your topic and issue/question, with your reasons, and with some evidence that you can find sufficient supporting information. Only when your topic is approved by the tutor should you start to conduct real research and begin to build your report.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.25SECTION 2ResearchFor this IBR project only secondary data should be used. This means that no original research is permitted. You must rely on information that is already published, and not conduct surveys or measurements of your own.Your ability to find, evaluate and interpret information is one of the main factors being assessed in this work.You should use skill and discrimination in selecting the best, most appropriate sources for your supporting data and information. You will need a mix of academic sources (typically used for discussing and supporting ideas, concepts and practice) and non-academic sources (typically used for background information, history, company details, market data, product information, statistics).It is important to demonstrate in your work that you have read widely around your topic, and that you have used the most suitable sources as references. For a project of this size and complexity, a minimum of 20 references would be normal. Typically, to find 20 good sources to use as references, you should expect to find and check about 100. GIHE recommends Mendeley as a good, free resource for storing and organizing sources (Mendeley.com). You need a minimum of 8 academic sources, plus as many non-academic sources as you require.For institutions like GIHE using the APA 6th edition referencing system, a reference is a source that is referred to in the text. Therefore, for every source which has an in-text reference, there must be a corresponding entry in the Reference List at the end of the work. Similarly, there can be no sources in the Reference List that do not have an in-text reference.Academic sources should be relevant and appropriately up-to-date. It is sometimes acceptable to use older academic sources if they refer to “classic” concepts (e.g. Porter’s Five Forces, first published in 1979, are still taught and discussed in business strategy and marketing courses), but it would not be appropriate to use a source more than two years old when discussing mobile devices as marketing channels. If you have doubts about the relevance of a particular source, check with the tutor.The databases of academic and industry information accessible through the GIHE library, together with the books and papers held in-house, provide an excellent ran
ge and depth of material. Further sources can be found using the internet, but care must be exercised to ensure that internet sources are reliable and suitable for use in a formal report.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.26SECTION 3The ProcessThe purpose of using this process is to ensure that you have the necessary guidance as your work progresses, thereby avoiding any finished report that does not meet the requirements. Following this procedure will ensure that you have confidence in your work, and that a good grade is possible.1. Attend the initial classes in weeks 1 to 2 of the semester; study the course documentation; ensure you thoroughly understand the requirements of the project and how to get a good grade.2. Select a topic area.3. Formulate a focused business issue/question.4. Test, by doing some basic investigation, that there is sufficient data and information, and academic sources, available to support your report.5. In week 4, present the data and information that you have selected, explaining why it was selected and how it is to be used as evidence in the report.6. Obtain approval and feedback from your tutor during week 4 – 7, in the first individual tutorial session, by appointment7. Begin the formal research process, selecting and saving sources and information to be used in your report.8. Prepare a draft report. This should be your best effort at a finished document.9. In week 10, submit your draft report, which should be complete in every respect.10. Obtain feedback from your tutor during weeks 11-2 in the second individual tutorial session, by appointment.11. Edit and revise your report as required.12. Submit the final, finished report to Moodle and in print in week 14.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.27SECTION 4Format and Structure FormatThe IBR project uses the formatting suggested in the APA 6th edition guidelines. This includes the use of a clear, legible font such as Times New Roman, size 12, double line spacing, wide margins, clear numbering and headings for sections and so on. The submissions to Turnitin are in Word format. Details will be found in the Project Outline. Failure to follow the formatting guidelines will result in lost grade points.StructureYour IBR will normally include the following elements/sections:a) The standard Glion Assignment front page including the signed statement of authorship and word countb) Title Pagec) Executive Summaryd) Table of Contentse) List of Tables and Figuresf) Introduction/Backgroundg) Data Presentation and Analysish) Conclusion and Recommendationsi) Referencesj) Appendices (if required)This simple structure may be varied to suit the particular needs of your report. Your tutor will be able to help you if you need advice on this aspect.Standard Glion Assignment Front PageThe standard Glion Assignment front page should be used with an amended statement as below. The word count should be statedStatement of authorshipI certify that this IBR report is new and original work which I have researched and written myself, and which contains no material that has been accepted for the award of any degree or diploma in any institute, college or university, including my own previous work. I confirm that no part of this report, except where clearly quoted and referenced, has been copied from material belonging to any other person e.g. from a book, internet source, handout, another student. I am aware that it is a breach of GIHE regulations to copy the work of another without clear acknowledgement and that attempting to do so renders me liable to disciplinary procedures. To this effect, I have uploaded my work onto Turnitin and have ensured that I have made any relevant corrections to my work prior to submission.I also understand that under no circumstances should any part of this IBR be published, including on the internet, or publicly displayed without receiving written permission from the school.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.28Word countThe range permitted is 4000 words plus or minus 10% (3600 to 4400). This excludes the cover pages, contents pages, Executive Summary, references and appendices. Work which is to small, or too large may be subject to a grade reduction of 2 points per hundred words outside the requirement.Title PageThis should contain the title of your IBR and you may wish to embellish this with a design appropriate to your piece of work.Executive SummaryA summary, NOT A DESCRIPTION, covering half to three quarters of an A4 page. It must include the purpose of the study, the scope of the work, an overview of the content of the IBR, the method of investigation, the main findings, conclusions and a summary of the recommendations. The Executive Summary should be written in the past tense and in the 3rd person passive. You are advised to write this last, after the body of your work is complete.Table of ContentsThis should be a tabulated list showing each section of the IBR and the page number on which it begins. Because the sections are numbered, then a numbered entry for each sub-section should appear in the contents list. Word can be used to do this automatically and it is recommended that you use this facility. It will also allow you to compile a table of contents automatically.List of Tables and FiguresThis should contain the number of each Table / Figure, its title and the page number on which it appears in the text. Number sequences should be separate for Tables & Figures.IntroductionThis should be written from the perspective of an employee working within an organization, or an external consultant, whose task is to offer an analysis with recommendations for a question or issue that the organisation is currently facing. The business rationale for finding this solution needs to be explained along with a broad theoretical umbrella under which the scope of the research will take place. The process of data analysis is to be explained. The formulation of objectives is not mandatory (the purpose is in the executive summary). Only a brief mention of methodology is required, since this is constrained by the PO.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.29Data Presentation and AnalysisThe data to be presented should be introduced, presented, described, analysed and then, most critically, the findings from the process need to be clearly identified for use in the Conclusion and Recommendations section.It is important that data needs to be consistently presented and from the same, or similar time frame (as far as possible). Sources need to be referenced appropriately and if data has been collated from a number of sources then all sources need to be stated as a part of the whole reference. If a table of figures for example has been reduced from its original source then please use the phrase ‘Adapted from’ and then the original source.When analysing quantitative data, it is essential that ‘raw’ data is translated into data for your specific study.When analysing qualitative data, it must be exposed to a minimum analysis of tabulation in order to identify similarities and/or differences, key themes and allow for comparison between cases. It is not sufficient to simply describe the differences as you see them; moreover it needs to be clearly visible to the reader by extracting it from the text.For both quantitative and qualitative data analysed, it is critical to clearly state the key findings that this has allowed you as the researcher to extract. It is advised that these are clearly stated at the end of each section of your data presentation.Conclusions and RecommendationsThe conclusions that you have drawn from the analysis of the data collected should be discussed in relation to your business issue/question. It may also be discussed in relation to any previous academic research into your subject area, including any models that you may have introduced in the introduction to your IBR. It may also be corroborated by research that has been carried out in the sphere of business, for example by Consultancy o
r Business Analysis Organisations. This section is the key section where you demonstrate your analytical skills and critical thinking and should be based only on the findings and results from your study. From this position you then need to extrapolate the implications of the findings of your research and make credible, realistic recommendations for your business. Recommendations must include some recognition of the costs and timescales involved, and clearly state the benefits to be expected.ReferencesThe in-text referencing and reference list need to be in accordance with APA 6th edition referencing requirements.AppendicesThe criteria for placing or not placing an item in an appendix are:GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.210a) If the information is essential for the readers to understand the points you want to make, then this information needs to be presented in the main body of the text.b) If it requires for the readers to constantly refer to the information in order to understand the text, then, this information needs to be included in the main body of the text.c) More lengthy and complex material, which is supplied as supporting evidence but is not required for understanding the text, may be attached as an appendix.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.211SECTION 5GRADING Your tutor will mark your final paper. The grading rubric of the IBR is shown in the Project Outline, available on Moodle, with a breakdown of the grading bands and descriptors for each section. First submission, week 4 – data presentation -10% Draft submission, week 10 – final draft – 20% Final submission, week 14 – final report – 70%Two grades will be entered in to the GIHE system: Mark 1 represents 30% of the course grade and includes grades for the week 4 and week 10 submissions; Mark 2 represents 70% of the course grade and is the grade for the final report.GRADING CRITERIA (FINAL REPORT)CRITERIA WEIGHT 1. Executive Summary and Introduction The Executive Summary should clearly outline the key purpose, method, findings and recommendations of the research and should be no more than 300 words (less than one page). In the introduction, the chosen business topic is clearly explained, outlining the rationale for the report with appropriate background information, including a connection to the theory/theories against which the secondary data and information is to be collected. The main question/issue to be dealt with is clearly defined. The sources of data and information need to be identified and justified in terms of their relevance and validity. The methods of data interpretation and analysis should be explained in relation to this data collection strategy.10%2. Extent and quality of research The list of References shows that the writer has read widely on the subject and taken care to cite only the most relevant sources. There are at least eight academic sources. All other sources are of high quality and reliability. All sources are used to make a useful contribution to the work, not simply cited with no interpretation.20%3. Data Presentation and Analysis The data is clearly laid out in a methodical manner, with appropriate explanations. It is sequentially organised in relation to the business question/issue stated in the introduction. All data (and other supporting information) should be introduced, presented, analysed and interpreted. Every item of data or information must be used as relevant evidence to support the findings and recommendations.20%4. Critical Thinking and Exegesis Theory, derived from relevant academic sources, is used as a starting point for the critical analysis of evidence. Logical interpretation will lead to a clear answer to the business question, supported by concrete recommendations.20%5. Conclusions and Recommendations The key themes, findings and issues are discussed in relation to the main business question, thus being linked back to the purpose of the report. The conclusions and recommendations for action should then be clearly stated. Recommendations are credible and take account of cost, difficulty and timescale. There should be no conclusion or recommendation that is not clearly based on the evidence and reasoning in the report.20%6. Synthesis and referencing The G.I.H.E referencing and presentation requirements need to be observed, and the study should be presented in a way that befits the professionalism required when working in the academic and business worlds. The writing should be cohesive and comprehensible, using good grammar, syntax and orthography.10%Maximum Mark 100%NB: The Final Report represents 70% of the overall course grade.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.212SECTION 6PROCEDURE FOR TUTORIALS AND SUBMISSIONSWEEK 1, 2 For the first two weeks of the semester, IBR students will attend scheduled classes. The purpose and content of the course will be explained. Criteria for success will be reviewed.WEEK 3Students refine their choice of broad topic area and their business issue/question; they make sure that sufficient supporting material (academic and non-academic) is available.WEEK 4Graded submission to Moodle of the data to be used in the report. Data must be appropriately presented but above all, all data and information must be described, interpreted and analysed as evidence that leads to the conclusion and recommendations. Submission in a Word format document.WEEK 5 & 7First individual tutorial session. The student’s topic and question, together with their evidence for the availability of suitable supporting materials, will be reviewed. The proposed data and other sources will be reviewed and evaluated.The direction and content of the planned report will be discussed.WEEK 8 & 9Students work on the development of their research.WEEK 10Graded submission of the draft report. The draft report must be complete in all respects. Submission in a Word format document.WEEK 10, 11 & 12Second individual tutorial session. The draft report will be discussed and evaluated. The aim is for students to have a clear action plan to modify and edit their report in order to maximize their grade.WEEK 14Students upload their final IBR onto Moodle (the complete document in Word format, docx; .pdf will not be accepted), and hand in a printed copy to the Academic Reception in the Academic Centre before the due date and time (given in the PO). Late submissions will be given a grade of zero and students will have to go through the resubmission process.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.213CONCLUSIONAs stated in the introduction, the purpose of this handbook is to help you to understand the process of the IBR and to clarify what is required in order to meet the requirements of the module.Follow the guidelines, make use of the help and support available to you, and you should be able to produce a good piece of work, obtaining a grade that reflects the enthusiasm and care that you invested.If you still have queries, then please feel free to contact your tutor at any time during the semester.Our best wishes for a successful IBR!GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.214GIHE LEVEL 6 Grading Guidelines – (semester 5, 6 to 7).Grade Learning Descriptor80– 100% Excellenta) Knowledge: A clear and exact demonstration of systematic knowledge and the critical understanding of the subject area: all arguments carefully developed and clearly shown. Considered and effective use of literature beyond that supplied in the classroom. Data specialist in nature and informed by the existing body of knowledge.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.215b) Cognitive: Synthesize, critically evaluate, and challenge information. Apply knowledge and understanding accurately to a range of issues, questions and problems. Apply established techniques to synthesize, critically evaluate and challenge information. Recognizes the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits to knowledge. Clear evidence of thinking an
d links to originality.c) Professional Competencies: Engage, as appropriate practical and profession skills and relevant ethical issues.d) Transferable Skills: communicate complex information, arguments, and ideas effectively and appropriately to explore issues and problems, use recognized literature, ICT, and planning; excellent report structure with APA presentation of figures, tables, references (in-text and list) where appropriate. Evidence of originality and novelty present.70 – 79% Very Gooda) Knowledge: A sound grasp of the subject material, with some critical understanding and logical arguments shown. Reasonable evidence of wider study beyond the classroom.b) Cognitive: Knowledge applied and used appropriately. Evidence of synthesis, critical review, and arguments. Evidence of critical thinking and evaluation of data.e) Professional Competencies: Some engagement, as appropriate practical and profession skills and relevant ethical issues.c) Transferable Skills: evidence of complex information and argument’s evident, considered use of communication tools, literature, ICT, and planning; well organized report; appropriate choice and APA presentation of figures and tables; clearly presented throughout.50 – 69% Passa) Knowledge: Reasonable understanding of subject matter with some critical review and evaluation, but some flaws and errors evident. Only limited evidence of wider study and use of literature information.b) Cognitive: Knowledge used to interpret data with some knowledge application evident. But problems found in overall logic and argument. Limited critical review and evaluation, thus thinking not shown.c) Professional Competencies: Little evidence of key skill development in line with practical and/or professional problem solving.d) Transferable Skills: considered use of communication tools, literature, ICT, and planning; a generally clear report with acceptable format, but some errors in APA style and/or omissions in presentation.40 – 49% Faila) Knowledge: Limited understanding of the topic with a minimal critical application or evaluation; considerable factual errors evident. Virtually no inclusion of literature information beyond lecture materials.b) Cognitive: Knowledge used to describe, a limited application of knowledge shown. Limited evidence of argument and logical thinking.c) Professional Competencies: Limited evidence of skills development in line with practical or professional development or problem solving.d) Transferable Skills: inadequate use of communication tools, ICT, and some planning; little attention given to the report structure; a very limited use of illustrative tables and figures. APA problems evident and serious flaws in presentation shown.20-39% Faila) Knowledge: Minimal understanding of the subject; serious factual errors evident. No critical review or evaluation evident.b) Cognitive: Very limited argument or logic shown. Poor evidence of thought. c) Professional Competencies: Poor evidence of skills development. d) Transferable Skills: poor use of communication tools, literature, ICT, andplanning; poorly structured report; disorganized, missing sections, minimal presentation of supporting data.0 – 19% Faila) Knowledge: Very poor coverage of material with little relevant information evident. Virtually no evidence of understanding or exploration. A few lines of relevant material or no material at all.b) Cognitive: No argument or logic shown. c) Professional Competencies: None shown d) Transferable Skills: minimal attempt to provide a structured answer. Poor.GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Individual Business Report Handbook 2018.216The qualitative criteria includes consideration of The quality of the report/essay – use of sections, diagrams, figures, citation of references,neatness etc. Student knowledge of the subject; depth and quality of answer Evidence of reading / study beyond the regurgitation of standard taught materials Shows level 5 competencies together with synthesis and evaluation Common Assessment Methods: case studies, dissertations, simulations, applied businessprojects, final reports/end of term papers, long answer examination.
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